New Zealand bat first against West Indies
Jul 25 2012 - 16:16:53
New Zealand won the toss and chose to bat in the first of two Tests against the West Indies starting here on Wednesday.
The match saw top-order batsman Chris Gayle return to the West Indies Test line-up for the first time since December 2010.
Gayle has been absent from the Test side due to a standoff between himself and the West Indies Cricket officials board sparked by critical comments he made about officials in a radio interview after a sponsorship row.
He did return for the one-day series against England and played in the Twenty20s and ODIs against New Zealand but this will be his first Test appearance in 19 months.
During the standoff, the West Indies Test side used five different opening batsmen and between them they managed only three half-century partnerships in 31 innings.
This year the results have been even worse. During the series against Australia and England the West Indies opening partnerships averaged just 14.45.
"It's very exciting. I know he's looking forward to being back in white clothes as well," West Indies captain Darren Sammy said.
"Not just Chris but the entire team is looking forward to the Test series and hopefully we can continue the form we showed in the T20 and one-day series."
The West Indies have dominated the tourists so far, taking the Twenty20 series 2-0 in which Gayle was awarded man of the series, and the ODI series 4-1 in which Gayle made an aggressive century and half-century.
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Assad Fudadun, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy (capt), Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daniel Flynn, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor (capt), Kane Williamson, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Vettori, Kruger van Wyk, Doug Bracewell, Neil Wagner, Chris Martin
Umpires: Richard Kettleborough and Paul Reiffel
TV umpire: Marais Erasmus
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle